64% of GOP voters say Palin is their top choice for 2012, 69% say Palin helped McCain

No, this isn’t another story from The Onion. It is the finding of a serious new poll by Rassmussen Reports, one of the country’s top pollsters, who was exceedingly accurate in this election. So, as I wrote two weeks ago, we may yet see Palin In 2012: Backed by Big Oil.

Ninety-one percent (91%) of Republicans have a favorable view of Palin, including 65% who say their view is Very Favorable. Only eight percent (8%) have an unfavorable view of her, including three percent (3%) Very Unfavorable.

When asked to choose among some of the GOP’s top names for their choice for the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, 64% say Palin. The next closest contenders are two former governors and unsuccessful challengers for the presidential nomination this year — Mike Huckabee of Arkansas with 12% support and Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 11%.

Three other sitting governors — Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Charlie Crist of Florida and Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota — all pull low single-digit support.

Hard to believe GOP voters could be so out of touch with reality. Then again, maybe it isn’t that hard to believe. They voted for Bush — twice! — after all. And only 42% of Republicans believe “the effects of global warming have already begun” (see “The Deniers are winning, but only with the GOP“).

Here’s more amazing news from Rasmussen:

These findings echo a survey earlier this week which found that Republicans were happier with their vice presidential candidate than with their presidential nominee. Seventy-one percent (71%) said McCain made the right choice by picking Palin as his running mate, while only 65% said the party picked the right nominee for president.

The key for the 44-year-old Palin will be whether she can broaden her base of support. An Election Day survey found that 81% of Democrats and, more importantly, 57% of unaffiliated voters had an unfavorable view of her.

Good luck with that broadening effort. According to a NYT poll right before the election, “8 in 10 Democrats viewed her as unprepared, as well as more than 6 in 10 independents.” And exit polls found that “sixty percent of those polled said the Alaska governor is not qualified to be president if necessary.”

I suppose progressives should hope that she runs and wins the 2012 GOP nomination, as it may be the best chance for a 1964-style Democratic landslide. But ultimately I can’t really wish for another global warming denier, anti-renewable GOP nominee.

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17 Responses to 64% of GOP voters say Palin is their top choice for 2012, 69% say Palin helped McCain

  1. JCH says:

    Will she be backed by big oil? Maybe, but one thing I know for a fact: there are some people in the oil business who do not like her.

  2. paulm says:

    Alaska will be toasted in 4yr time. There will be many more skeptic converts by then. Maybe even Palin.

  3. hapa says:

    playing the future game. lots of people i read think there will be a nativist resurgence. IMO palin shows major confusion and uncertainty and the effectiveness of the cocoon around those folks. the deep-recession-to-come will lay waste to already broke/insolvent people, up into the 80% quintile, leaving them very open to racist myths about that recession and the bank fiasco.

    these people will need a rescue. the administration and congress should start from the ground floor when they get to work on the money situation; if they don’t, joke’s on them.

  4. Danny says:

    So much of the current hype surrounding Palin is because she is a “fresh face” with plenty of media hype surrounding her. Within two years she will be largely forgotten, especially if President-elect Obama begins to make progress with his goals.

  5. Brian M says:

    She’s got a very tricky situation up in Alaska. Alaska’s economy is pretty much entirely dependent on oil. As goes that industry, so goes the state’s finances and, probably, her popularity.

    Between the demand destruction from the current (deep and likely long) recession, peak oil and climate change actions, their is potential for a lot of volatility in their revenue stream.

    You have to assume very substantial drops in production from their large old fields, with very little likelihood that they can offset with new projects (especially given the existing lack of available credit). The very long term future is bleak unless that state invests heavily in some other kind of industry, one that can be sustained in the absence of cheap oil. Don’t ask, I have no idea what it would be.

    A cap & trade or carbon tax could hit them pretty good, depending on how it is structured.

    On the other hand, diminishing supplies should drive up prices, especially once the world comes out of recession, so the oil that they do pump will bring in substantial revenues. The downside of that is that, once out of the recession, world demand will start to jump substantially. Supply will not be able to match it given depletion and the lack of investment during this recession. Demand up. Supply down. Prices up. Availability down. if the country is experiencing fuel shortages and very high prices, what will be the reaction to a governor from an oil state. I guess it could be very positive (negative for the planet, “drill baby drill”), or it could be very negative (good for the planet, “you are part of the problem”). Tough call there.

  6. Brooks says:

    I’m astounded by those numbers. They imply only 9% of republicans are able to see through her shallowness. With even Fox News coming down on her I can’t see her popularity lasting. I think it’s a case of “You can fool….”

    And if the Obama administration is only half as well run as the Obama campaign, the Republican choice to run against himin 2012 is irrelevant. There will be another Obama landslide.

  7. JCH – got proof? “one thing I know for a fact: there are some people in the oil business who do not like her.”

    That would be interesting…to me she seems like Cheney and Bush redux in one perfect-for-primetime package.

    The Rethugs just loved the down-to-earth dumbnity of Bush – and Cheney was the perfect Oilgarchy toady. Thus Palin represents the very best of both of them.

    So I’m curious – Why wouldn’t they think she was perfect?

  8. Anna Haynes says:

    I wonder what % of Republicans accept evolution.
    Because it’s pretty much isomorphic – the science on one hand, vs. an institutionally-abetted deep desire to disbelieve on the other.

    one data point – I asked our local denier (retired engineer) about this, & he said he wasn’t sure whether he accepted evolution or not.

  9. David B. Benson says:


  10. Peter Sinclair says:

    More power to them.
    If Republicans are serious about becoming the party of Appalachia
    and Alaska, (Appal-aska?),
    I support that whole heartedly.
    Sarah Palin as the face of the GOP guarantees progressive
    dominance for 20 years.

  11. John McCormick says:

    Hapa, you nailead it:

    [the administration and congress should start from the ground floor when they get to work on the money situation; if they don’t, joke’s on them.]

    My great fear is the pressure we liberal/progressive/special interests will put on President-elect Obama’s shoulders.

    He will be pulled towards union demands for bailing out union-organized companies, universal health care and huge and expensive infrastructure programs. Enviros will demand he introduce an 80% by 2050 climate change bill and ramp up a green economy; and, all of that in his first 100 days.

    America is broke and could slip into hyper inflation unless the new spending is paid for and surgically intended to promote quick new employment and taxable incomes.

    Stopping the foreclosure runaway train will be of greater benefit to more people than will a climate change bill and the people you identified will be looking for a pragmatic and effective first term. Failing that Obama will not have second term.

    We have the potential to waste this marvelous gift we have awarded ourselves by electing Obama. Creating an unaffordable list of demands which he and the Congress cannot deliver will cause his popularity to drop and invite people like Gov. Palin and Newt Gingrich to exploit social unrest and liberal anger.

    Remember Jimmy Carter’s fate?

    John McCormick

  12. hapa says:

    JM: i think your categories are too big. climate change stuff isn’t all long-term capital spending; weatherization, for instance, would save millions of households real money in the short term; unfortunately not this winter. but there is a ridiculous waiting list in every state i’ve checked, for energy audit and weatherization. the programs are broke because the states can’t borrow money from qatar.

    JR has said here and i third it, or wherever i am in line, that big capital spending for climate stuff will come after the biggest shocks of the downturn hit people. but since these programs aren’t money down the drain they’ll actually help businesses and governments recover even before the project money’s being spent, because it’s always good to know the shape of the future economy (and regulatory regime). hence (in part) JR’s stumping for more durable renewable tax credits and carbon price signals and such.

    here’s dean baker’s concept for straight-to-the-people stimuli. it deals with the biggest costs households face, the biggest of which, and most risky, is medical. (finagling a softer landing for homeowners, being more deliberate with foreclosures (including the option to rent), and enabling refinancing– those are a separate set of actions.)

    There are some no-brainers that belong in any stimulus package: aid to state and local governments, extended unemployment benefits, and extra money for food stamps and home heating oil assistance. This is money that will be quickly spent, boosting the economy, while helping those hit hardest by the downturn.

    A stimulus should also include increases in infrastructure spending, which will come about by moving plans forward for projects already on the books. There should also be a substantial green component, involving retrofitting homes, businesses and other buildings, which will reduce our energy use.

    However, after we get through this list, the sum total for the stimulus package is probably still in the neighborhood of $150 billion a year, at best half of the targeted sum [of ~$400 billion]. This is the gap that will be filled by extending health care coverage.

    As a basic outline, the government can give a substantial tax credit (e.g. $3,000) to employers who cover workers for the first time in 2009 and 2010. It can also offer a tax credit covering most, or all, of any additional payments by employers who increase their coverage.

    This means that an employer who picked up the workers’ share of insurance payments, or got a better plan, would have much of the cost reimbursed by the tax credit. Credits can also be given to individuals who are either self-employed, unemployed, or not otherwise covered through their employer.

    If 20 million workers get coverage through this tax credit, that would cost $60 billion. If another 60 million get an average of $1,000 in additional health care benefits, this would cost another $60 billion. If we also throw in funding to reduce the health care burden for Medicare beneficiaries, for example by $1,000 each, this will cost roughly $40 billion. The total cost would be $160 billion a year, a reasonable target for the stimulus package.

    At the same time that this health stimulus is enacted, we should open up the Medicare system, allowing all employers and individuals the option to buy into a Medicare-type plan. This is important, because a well-working public sector plan will be important to controlling costs over the long term.

    After 2010, the tax credits would be cut back, with the goal being a system of subsidies that pay the full cost for low-income people, but phase out at higher income levels. It will also be important to use the Medicare-type plan and other tools to squeeze waste out of the system, since controlling health care costs is essential to sustaining a healthy economy over the long term.

    Extending health care coverage in this way is effectively eating dessert before dinner, but this is exactly what we want to do to counter the recession. It is important that we spend money now to boost the economy. We will be getting double value if this stimulus can be spent usefully toward meeting a longstanding goal, such as providing national health care insurance, rather than just buying things at the mall.

    Fixing the health care system so that costs are effectively contained will be a long and difficult political battle. Powerful interest groups, like the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, will use all their power to obstruct this effort. The health care system’s waste is their profit.

    However, we should be reassured by the fact that every other country has managed to more effectively contain costs. Average per-person health care costs in other wealthy countries are less than half as high as in the United States, and they all enjoy better health care outcomes.

    Over the long run the task of containing health care costs is clearly doable. The question for President Obama now is whether he is prepared to take the big leap toward being a truly great president. This opportunity may not come again.

  13. John Mashey says:

    For those who just can’t stop watching Sarah, I recommend an Alaskan blog I found a day or so after she was named: Mudflats, and some of the blogs it references. It’s often been weeks ahead of the MSM, and usually accurate.

    I also recommend Michael T. Klare’s Palin’s Petro-Politics.

  14. Jim Bullis says:

    If Palin is ever again a force in the GOP then the GOP will show itself to be incompetent to govern. Unfortunately for Republicans, the choice of this person has greatly energized an opposition of moderates who see the possibility of Palin in National government to be unacceptable.

    It is sufficient to focus on undisputed actions of Palin in government to show that she has not sufficient comprehension of constitutional government to merit serious consideration as a leader.

    A responsible report of the big oil tax situation in Alaska can be seen at:

    This report was written Aug. 10, before anyone knew that Palin was going to be the VP nominee.

    From this we can see that Governor Palin imposed a windfall property tax and used it to hand out about $1200 in free money to all persons in Alaska. Her Republican predecessors had already set up an “oil wealth fund” system where individuals were given $2000 a year, and they had arranged that most state expenses were paid by taxes on the oil companies. Before Palin the Republicans had already put in place the most generous welfare system in the USA, and maybe in the world. She saw the opportunity to make it even better.

    In the following link it is clear that Sarah Palin is very proud of the above accomplishment:

    So it seems there is no dispute of the basic facts.

    I suggest that there is a very close parallel between Sarah Palin and Hugo Chavez. Neither sees any problem with changing the deal for oil companies producing from “their” land. In fact, Palin is very proud of “taking on big oil.”

    Clearly Palin is skilled in doing popular things. Chavez is also very popular.

    The difference is that Palin is advertised as a conservative and Chavez is called a socialist.

    Palin, McCain, and the Republican party, all seem not to notice these similarities. They shout “Socialist” at Obama. Yes, he also has discussed a windfall profits tax, but this was not remotely like the parasitic Alaskan form of Socialism.

    So now I submit that the above demonstrated leadership qualifications of Palin are limited to opportunistic skill. An opportunistic pattern of government might also be seen in looking at the $15 million “sports complex” which Palin is also proud of as evidence of her effective tenure as Mayor. In implementing this project she seems to have demonstrated about the same level of skill as typical small town mayors. The judgment that this would be the best use of money in a town of 7000, seems to be more of a serious question. Clearly it is a popular path for local leaders everywhere. It gets votes.

    So McCain can be credited with a politically wise choice in selecting such a person. This seems opportunistic in itself, which can be challenged as bad judgment. It is particularly ironic that it turns the principles of conservative government inside out. It seems inconceivable that a conservative political organization could go forward, continuing this bad judgment.

    But it is also widely known that Palin was the choice to “energize the Republican base,” and that this base means people of the fundamentalist religion sort. Pandering to a particular large group of people is not a surprise, but when there is a religious dimension to it, there is some reason for concern. There is a particular worry when that religious group takes absolutist views of the Bible. It is hard to believe any of them have actually read it, for it has so many internal contradictions and directives that are clearly not appropriate in the present day world.

    Obviously it is not inappropriate for a President to have religious beliefs. The question is boundaries, generally known as the “separation of church and state.” So it is appropriate to observe how this is handled by the various candidates. The basic lack of neutrality in religion is immediately apparent when a candidate is selected for her religious relationship to a large group. It seemed somewhat reassuring when Palin said she respects other opinions on the abortion subject, but there was something lacking in the way this was said. Clearly, abortion is an issue that is viewed differently by people depending on their religion. Government needs to be very careful about treading in any such area. The style of Palin’s campaigning raises alarms, at least for this observer. I was happy to see McCain toning things down a little, but this was not enough to make me comfortable about Palin.

    As to all the little things that are not very important in themselves, such as husband’s presence in governor’s affairs, saying that children are traveling on “official business,” “negotiating experience” with the Russians, military command experience claims, and foreign travel claims, reading “all the papers,” and so on, all these things taken together seem to show incapacity in understanding the very words, facts, and concepts under discussion. All the while she quickly learns a set of jargon to spew forth. How can she be expected to even understand boundaries, let alone handle the difficult balances that must be achieved by the President.

    John McCain should not have selected Palin. It disqualified him. And Palin could continue to disqualify the Republican Party.

  15. Ronald says:

    People do the same thing that intelligence agencies like CIA, FBI, DOD, . . . do and that is stovepipe their thinking and intelligence. Conservatives will read conservative books, watch FOX news, listen to conservative radio. Liberals will read liberal books, watch MSNBC, listen to PBS radio.

    I talked to some conservatives who didn’t even hear about some of Palin’s biggest mistakes because they weren’t listening to news sources that carried it. They actually thought Palin was unpopular with some people was from what FOX news told them. No wonder they were misinformed.

    The most important question to ask on how to get informed is are you a Free Thinker or are you Religious thinking. A Free thinker looks at most sides of an arguement before making up their mind. Religion comes from the ancient word Relio which means ‘to tie or bind.’ That’s what many people do, is tie or bind their sources of information, knowledge and news and the outcomes are somewhat predictable. Find out what a person listens to, watches and reads and you have a good chance of knowing what they are thinking.

    It takes time, effort and some emotional balance to do a good job of informing yourself. So much easier to go back to the same old sources. I try to balance what I listen to. I have to say, it was comical listening to conservative talk radio defending Palin, but they were mostly defending the strawperson Palin that they wanted to defend, not the real Palin that had some real political and knowledge shortcomings.

  16. Nikki says:

    Ronald Says:

    You are right! But as an Indepentdent I watched all the networks CNN, MSNBC and FOX! I was for Obama at the beginnig. And as I understood the issue’s and what his plans for change for us would be. I didnot like his ways of solving our problems. So I decided to back McCain not that I liked all of his thoughts but I agreed more with him than Obama. But the funny thing about this election is that while I supported Obama. I was smart, open minded etc. etc. etc. According to CNN, MSNBC, etc. But now as a McCain supporter I was raciest, stupid you name it and that was just about “McCain” I won’t even go into the “Palin” issues!!!! But what really makes me sick about this election is that it was so about the persons and thier personal lives and petty crap, instead of the issues to better America. I really feel if the media would have done thier jobs and stuck to the issues Obama would not be P.E.O. I talked to sooooo many people that were voting for Obama(first time voters) and had no clue what any of his issues were and how he was going to solve them. Everyone jumping on the band wagon! Very Sad!!! I have and will always support our President whether I voted for him or not. But I hope 2012 the media will be fair to both parties and stick to the issues instead of the trash and gossip and just maybe we can get our country moving forward as Americans.